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Habs Daily: Xhekaj Is Back, Monahan Trade Value, NHL Draft



Montreal Canadiens defenceman Arber xhekaj 1

Check out all the latest Montreal Canadiens news, highlights, and stories you may have missed on Monday.

Habs News

  • The Montreal Canadiens are in for a bumpy ride to finish off the season, which could help them secure a top-10 pick or better by the end of the season. According to the latest data from Tankathon, the Montreal Canadiens have the 4th most difficult remaining schedule in the NHL, with some stronger clubs, a high number of back-to-backs and another western road trip sprinkled within the final 36 games of the season. [Canadiens Lottery Odds to Receive Boost From Difficult Schedule]
  • According to Elliotte Friedman, the Habs have received trade calls regarding defenceman Arber Xhekaj. As of now, the Canadiens have indicated they’re not interested in trading their rough-and-tumble blueliner. [Canadiens Reportedly Receiving Calls On Potential Xhekaj Trade]
  • Coincidentally, the Habs proceeded to recall Xhekaj from the AHL’s Laval Rocket on Monday. He should be in uniform on Tuesday when the Canadiens face the Ottawa Senators.

  • With the NHL’s trade deadline quickly approaching it’s time to take a look at the pros and cons of any potential Sean Monahan trade. He certainly brings value to the Canadiens, but for that very same reason, he should carry a lot of value on the NHL’s trade market. [Pros And Cons Of Potential Sean Monahan Trade]
  • Speaking of Monahan’s trade value, Frank Seravalli suggested the Canadiens could end up with another first-round pick if they’re to move the versatile centre. In addition to mentioning the potential return, Seravalli listed several teams that could be interested in Monahan’s services. It’s all speculation at this point, and many of the teams he listed have already been named as potential suitors by other members of the media, including the Edmonton Oilers, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Colorado Avalanche. But regardless of the details, it does seem like the interest for Monahan is growing. [Daily Faceoff]
  • It’s a little too early to suggest Joshua Roy has already cemented a permanent job in the NHL, but if he keeps up his excellent play the Canadiens will have no choice but to make room for him in their lineup. [Joshua Roy Staking Claim For Permanent Roster Spot]
  • There’s been concern over Lane Hutson potentially going the route of Cutter Gauthier or Adam Fox once his time in the NCAA is over. Given Kent Hughes’ NCAA connections and Hutson’s recent comments, very little points to him requesting a trade. [Radio Canada (FR)]



National Hockey Now Network

  • Calgary is four points behind the closest Wildcard placeholder, the Nashville Predators. As of January 22, the Coyotes sit tied with the Flames at 47 points but hold two games in hand. Take a closer look at four potential landing spots if the Calgary Flames were to trade forward Elias Lindholm. [Calgary Flames]
  • Typically, when a team hires a new head coach, it takes a little while for any noticeable change to become visible. That wasn’t the case for the New York Islanders in their 3-2 overtime win over the Dallas Stars in their first game under Patrick Roy on  Sunday night. Although there wasn’t any clear difference in the Islanders from a tactical standpoint, there certainly was an uptick in emotions.[New York Islanders]
  • Evgeni Malkin has six points in his last eight games, beginning when the calendar flipped to 2024. However, Malkin is a minus-2 and highlights the greatest challenge the Pittsburgh Penguins must overcome in their playoff chase. The Penguins have a star problem. Specifically, it seems two of their stars are absolutely and utterly incongruent, and if the eyes don’t show it, the numbers do. [Pittsburgh Penguins]
  • Since their inception, the Nashville Predators have played 2,066 games, including the postseason, and it’s all gone by in a blur. Part I of this 25th Anniversary feature can be read here. In Part II, we get some perspective from some of the fan favourites from the franchise’s early years. [Nashville Predators]